Throwback Thursday: Ken Paxton Under Investigation Yet Again, This Time for His Role In January 6 Insurrection

AUSTIN, Texas — In the last week, amid a spate of harmful actions by Texas Republicans — from passing racist anti-voter legislation to slashing Texans’ abortion rights — we also saw yet another investigation home in on Texas’ shadiest elected official. Beleaguered Texas AG Ken Paxton has now been specifically named by the U.S. House committee investigating the January 6 insurrection as meriting closer investigation — with the committee requesting communications between Paxton and Trump White House officials in the months leading up to the insurrection.

Paxton was on the scene in D.C. on January 6, participating alongside Trump in the rally that took place just before the domestic terror attack on our nation’s Capitol. In the following months, Paxton has defied public records rules and refused to release records of his text and email communications around those events. However, this latest investigation surrounding Ken Paxton has flown comparatively under the radar — possibly because at this point, it’s hard to keep track of Paxton’s long list of shady dealings. For this week’s Throwback Thursday, we’re recapping just a smattering of what’s on that list, including:

  • Paxton has been under indictment for securities fraud since 2015 — or, for nearly his entire tenure as AG.
  • Paxton also has been under FBI investigation since November 2020, when seven whistleblowing staff resigned or were fired over allegations that Paxton was abusing the power of his office and conducting illegal quid-pro-quo dealings with a political donor.
  • In March 2021, Paxton was separately accused of abuse of office after he gave a cushily-paid job to a different political donor.
  • In July 2021, Paxton led yet another cover-up, refusing to release records of ERCOT’s communications during February’s winter storm — including emails, texts, and phone call records between officials.
  • In August 2021, Paxton’s office released a report concluding Paxton was not guilty of any crimes. Despite the glaring conflict of interest posed by this self-exoneration, we were comforted to know that the actual FBI investigation is ongoing.

Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa issued the following statement:

“From slashing voting rights to gutting Texans’ abortion access to refusing to stem the spread of COVID-19, Texas Republicans are continuing to put people across our state in danger. However, it doesn’t stop there — because members of the Texas GOP have found a whole host of ways to threaten our democracy all year long, starting with their involvement in the events of January 6.

“I thank the U.S. House committee investigating the January 6 insurrection for working to get to the bottom of Ken Paxton’s involvement in these events. Paxton rallied alongside Trump before the riot, has refused to release records of his communications around those events, and continues to try to pull the wool over our eyes. Ken Paxton has a clear history of corrupt behavior serving in the highest legal office in Texas. Texans deserve answers, and Democrats will continue to push for them.”